You often hear incredible stories about how one parallel pathway in life perfectly sets people up for a completely different one. Sir Thomas White Loan Charity business loan borrower Natasha Dulay is a perfect example.
Always creative, Natasha would often spend her spare time putting her creativity in motion. However, away from that, she dedicated her education to developing her studies in business, at one point potentially entering the field of accountancy. That wasn’t to be, as Natasha soon realised, through her passion for jewellery initially, that her desire was to create unique products and showcase them to a target market.
That developed further to crafting unique handbags and clutch bags – and Styles of Soki was born.
What Natasha didn’t realise at the time was that everything she was doing away from being creative was preparing her to turn her creativity into a career.
“When I go through the process in my head now, it does sound as if everything has naturally driven me to the point I’m at now,” admits Natasha.
“Becoming self-employed was something that I aspired to from a young age, because my dad was self-employed. I’d always seen him working for himself. On the other side of things, my mum was quite creative. I was brought up with both of those values and I was keen to work out how to combine the creative side of things to the self-employment side of things. I knew that was the area that I wanted to go towards.”
“Throughout school I studied textiles and I was always told that I was good at it,” she continues. “I really enjoyed it. The main thing for me was that I really enjoyed it and I used to love creating and making things. I kept that with me. When I got to my A-levels, when a lot of people were telling me that I needed something to fall back on, that’s when I decided to study business, accounting and finance.”
The two have married perfectly and, after positive feedback from people loving the unique styles being created by Styles of Soki, Natasha launched her company website at the end of 2018.
“We’re still fairly new. We source bags and clutch bags, both every-day bags and something unique, and we customise these bags to deliver a unique product. We’ve combined sourcing and customising as we work to establish a brand. I’ve also recently commenced work on handmade bespoke cosmetic bags, with bespoke items something that we’re keen to move into in the near future. It’s a very exciting time.”
So, where did The Sir Thomas White Loan Charity come into the picture?
“We found out about The Sir Thomas White Loan Charity during the Leicester Business Festival a couple of years back, when I met a gentleman named Gau Naik, who is a trustee and works for NBV. We found out about the ins and outs; that there was no interest over a nine-year period. It was a no-brainer. We met with Gau and he went into detail about how the charity worked – and he was able to provide us with a bit more guidance throughout the process. Of course, he wasn’t present at the interview with the charity’s panel!
“Having Gau represent the charity as well as NBV was very reassuring,” admits Natasha. “I would recommend – to anyone – getting in touch with a business adviser that knows about how The Sir Thomas White Loan Charity works. Gau supported me throughout the whole process in his role with NBV, because it can be quite daunting when you see the application for the first time. If you don’t have a business background, it can be scarier. If you don’t know how to put the information together, it helps having a business adviser that gives you an idea or understanding of where you can get extra help. That in turn provides you with motivation to keep pursuing your application and business plan.”
For more on Styles of Soki and to take a look over their range of products, please visit https://stylesofsoki.com/
Also, keep your eyes peeled to The Sir Thomas White Loan Charity, where we will be featuring more of Natasha’s story in the near future.